The Norwegian Ministry of Defence has announced that the government decided on 25th November to procure five P-8A Poseidon for delivery in 2021 to 2022. The decision has been proposed to the Parliament, which is expected to reach a resolution regarding the procurement by mid-December.
Defence minister Ine Eriksen Søreide said the aircraft would be used for surveillance of the country’s vast maritime areas in the north. She underlined that Norway has an important task in maintaining situational awareness in national and adjacent waters, both on and below the surface, on behalf of the Alliance.
Norwegian maritime areas are about seven times its land mass, and these areas are now regarded with increasingly strategic importance within NATO.
Norway has been responsible for maintaining maritime situational awareness in the north since 1961, when the Albatross aircraft was introduced. The regularity, reach and capability to perform underwater surveillance increased substantially with the introduction of the P-3B Orion in 1969, and the updates in the P-3Cs, introduced in Norway in 1989, was necessary to cope with new underwater technology.
The five P-8A Poseidon will replace the six ageing P-3 Orions, and three DA-20 Jet Falcons.
Norway will join a list of international customers for the P-8A that already includes India (12 aircraft), Australia (which recently received the first of its 12 aircraft), the UK (nine aircraft).